As written on June 21, 2020
The veracity behind the travesty of Indian borders must prevail. Else, one will be lost in the labyrinth of words spoken by the Prime Minister about Indo-China’s border issue. Earlier this year in June, the Defense Minister addressed the nation on the Galwan Valley predicament, which was later countered by the Prime Minister with outright contradictory statements.
There has been a wide gulf between the Defence Minister’s statement and the Prime Minister’s articulation. Even the points made by Foreign Minister CDS Gen. Bipin Rawat and various defense strategists have been antithetical to what PM Modi has been proclaiming and issuing in statements on the Indo-China border plight (Galwan Valley Clash). The whole nation is perplexed, wondering whether the PM’s statements are true or not.
If the PM’s claims were to be de jure, then why are the lieutenant generals of both the countries having detente meets? These meets have been happening for a while now. These meets reportedly took place on June 6, 10 and 12. The meet’s agenda was the resolution of the three discordant areas of the Galwan Valley. Even so, the PM said that there has been no Chinese intrusion on the Indian soil.
Let’s not get into the binary of true or false here. Perhaps, two years down the line, if one happens to turn back the pages to the present situation, they would no doubt be shocked by this past situation. These pages would contain the country debates over Chinese intrusion on the Indian soil — and our PM’s contradictory claims, even as the Indian establishment was busy bonding with the Dragon over new business deals, discussing agreements and signing MoUs. How could this be possible, this person would think.
The country was fuming with anger and Chinese products and services were being boycotted, while on the other hand, our government was busy signing business deals with the Chinese government. This is hypothetical for sure. One might wonder why such an occurrence could come into play in such a scenario.
To understand the politics, the politicians, the responsibilities bestowed upon them and the vision behind the responsibilities, their position in the work-sphere has to be comprehended wisely. On the June 15, a ceasefire was violated and 20 Indian soldiers were martyred, including Colonels.
Let’s recall the Doklam case in point, where it was Tibet on one side, Bhutan on the other, and then India with its chicken neck territory. If China had ensnared the chicken neck region, India would’ve lost the entire northeastern region. The Indian army and Chinese troops went head to head for 73 consecutive days, from June 16-August 28, 2017.
How many peace treaties were being signed then? During those 73 days, were there any trade deals being signed? During those days of military engagement, the Indian establishment was busy swearing-in and making promises on putting an embargo on the Dragon. It was busy stating that India would be Atmanirbhar (self-reliant) and “leave China behind“. But right after those 73 days of engagement, the Indian government held trade talks. So, let’s understand 2017 to understand what’s happening in 2020.
Firstly, on June 16, 2017, when Indian and Chinese troops were facing each other on the battlefield, it was a colossal predicament. The situation worsened week by week, but four days later, on June 20, Chinese conglomerate East Hope Group said that they were to set up a manufacturing plant worth $300 million in Mundra, a port that belongs to Adani Group and comes under Special Economic Zone.
The struggle on the borders was evident, while MoUs were being signed in Beijing. This is was a very preternatural position to be in. This wasn’t just it. Later, in April 2018, Power Construction Corporation of China signed another MoU with Adani Group. A power project was to be constructed in Godda (Jharkhand) to supply electricity in Bangladesh. This is not just about the Adani group, this inventory is yearning. Numerous Indian companies have shaken hands with the Chinese syndicate for investment over the years.
During the engagement in Doklam, the sitting PM then said that India procures more agricultural grist from China and will need to stop acquiring from them in order to head towards being Atmanirbhar. Even then, goods worth Rs 818 crore were being imported from China. And today, that number has risen up to Rs 1,349 crore. The farmer sector, which was meant to become Atmanirbhar, has now become dependent on Chinese goods more than ever.
The overall business with China during the Doklam conflict was worth $60 billion and in today’s case, it has risen up to $68 billion. The tale of crony friendship between China and India has been inspiring lately. Almost 22 trade talks have been held between the two nations since the Doklam. At the time of Doklam, it was said that India will restrain itself from trading with China, just like it is being said now due to increasing tension in the Galwan. Here, it has been only seven days, but there, it was a ‘Game of Thrones’ that lasted 73 days.
Right after Doklam, the RBI issued a license in the name of Bank Of China to start a bank in India. During the UPA’s tenure in 2011, ICBC (Industrial and Commerce Bank of China) got the license. India saw a new spike in Chinese tourists touring India in 2018, which was nearly 225,000 Chinese tourists.
Later, the then Union Minister Of State for Culture and Tourism Alphons Kannanthanam held roadshows in Beijing, Shanghai and Wuhan, while also promoting Indian tourism. All these trade talks were being held and numerous deals were being struck. If the trade books of today are reopened two years later, what would be the situation then?
In 1961 and 1962, the questions regarding Aksai Chin was raised in the Parliament. Nehru argued and said that it is barren land, where there would be no cultivation. Surprisingly, INC parliamentarian Mahavir Tyagi (Chairman of the 5th Finance Commission) objected to Nehru on the floor of the House and said, “No hair grow on my head, should I then cut off my hair?” During the Indo-China war, Nehru said on the floor of the House, “We will not give a single inch of land to China.” Hari Vishnu Kamath, a parliamentarian from Hoshangabad, questioned Nehru, “On your map, how many miles does an inch make?”
All these tales tell us how India has been diluting in its stand. Amid this predicament, when a single person becomes a God-figure, then one loses the right to judge their words in the mirror of truth and falsity. See it through the prism of national interest, how is it affecting the country? Is there any Military General in today’s scenario like there was General Manik Shah back in 1971?
Every bit had its relevance and significance in time, but right now, when the importance of the Parliament has diminished and the procedure of parliamentary form of governance has been eradicated, how one can expect citizens to rectify truth and falsity?